A beautiful thing

The Golden State may follow the European Union on controversial issue

California is one step closer to putting an end to the sales of cosmetics tested on animals.

On May 30, California senators voted 21-to-9 to pass Senate Bill 1249, the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act. If approved by the Assembly and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, SB 1249 would ban manufacturers from selling cosmetics that are tested on animals or that contain any components that were tested on animals in the state. This would include skin care, hair care and deodorant products.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, would take effect January 1, 2020. Violations would result in a fine of $5,000, plus $1,000 for each day the violation continues.

The state has been on a trajectory to phase out animal testing for the past two decades, including the prohibition in 2000 of the use of animal testing when an alternative is available. The 2014 passage of the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Resolution urged Congress to enact legislation to prohibit the testing and marketing of cosmetics tested on animals.

Prior to the SB 1249 vote, actors and animal advocates Maggie Q and Harley Quinn Smith lobbied for the bill at the Capitol in Sacramento; other prominent animal advocates appeared in a video by the Physicians Committee to support its passage, including Alicia Silverstone, Moby and Dr. Neal Barnard.

“From a scientific standpoint, humans and animals often respond to chemicals differently,” Barnard said in the video. “Because animal reactions don’t necessarily translate to human ones, many of these tests lead to unhelpful and inaccurate results.”

If California adopts this legislation, it would join the European Union, which enacted a similar ban in 2013.